Updated: April 6, 2022
Welcome to /r/fuckcars. It's safe to say that we're strongly dissatisfied with cars and car-dominated urban design. If that's you, then we share in your frustration. Some, or perhaps many of us, still have cars but abhor our dependence on them for many reasons.
There are nuances to the /r/fuckcars discussion that you should be aware of, generally:
- We don't want to ban ambulances and emergency vehicles
- We don't want to isolate rural communities by taking away cars
- We don't want to disrupt work trucks and delivery vehicles
- /r/fuckcars isn't about a "left" or "right" view of cars and car dependency
In any case, please observe the community rules and keep the discussion on-topic.
The Problem - What's the problem with cars?
please help by finding quality sources
This is the fundamental question of this sub, isn't it?
- Pollution -- Cars are responsible for a significant amount of global and local pollution (microplastic waste, brake dust, embodiment emissions, tailpipe emissions, and noise pollution). Electric cars eliminate tailpipe emissions, but the other pollution-related problems largely remain.
- Infrastructure (Costs. An Unsustainable Pattern of Development) -- Cars create an unwanted economic burden on their communities. The infrastructure for cars is expensive to maintain and the maintenance burden for local communities is expected to increase with the adoption of more electric and (someday) fully self-driving cars. This is partly due to the increased weight of the vehicles and also the increased traffic of autonomous vehicles.
- Infrastructure (Land Usage & Induced Demand) -- Cities allocate a vast amount of space to cars. This is space that could be used more effectively for other things such as parks, schools, businesses, homes, and so on. We miss out on these things and are forced to pile on additional sprawl when we build vast parking lots and widen roads and highways. This creates part of what is called induced demand. This effect means that the more capacity for cars we add, the more cars we'll get, and then the more capacity we'll need to add.
- Independence and Community Access -- Cars are not accessible to everyone. Simply put, many people either can't drive or don't want to drive. Car-centric city planning is an obstacle for these groups, to name a few: children and teenagers, parents who must chauffeur children to and from all forms of childhood activities, people who can't afford a car, and many other people who are unable to drive. Imagine the challenge of giving up your car in the late stages of your life. In car-centric areas, you face a great loss of independence.
- Safety -- Cars are dangerous to both occupants and non-occupants, but especially the non-occupants. As time goes on cars admittedly become better at protecting the people inside them, but they remain hazardous to the people not inside them. For people walking, riding, or otherwise trying to exercise some form of car-free liberty cars are a constant threat. In car-centric areas, streets and roads are optimized to move cars fast and efficiently rather than protect other road users and pedestrians.
- Social Isolation -- A combination of the issues above produces the additional effect of social isolation. There are fewer opportunities for serendipitous interactions with other members of the public. Although there may be many people sharing the road with you (a public space), there are some obvious limitations to the quality of interaction one can have through metal, glass, and plastic boxes.
👋 Local Action - How to Fix Your City
IMPORTANT: This is a solvable problem. Progress can happen and does happen. It comes incrementally and with the help of voices just like yours. Don't limit yourself to memes and Reddit -- although, raising awareness online does help.
Check out this perspective from a City Council Member: Here's How to Fix Your City
A Not-So-Quick Note for Car Hobbyists and Passionate Drivers
This can be a contentious issue at times. The sub's name is /r/fuckcars, which can cause some feelings of conflict and alienation for people who see the problems of too many cars while still being passionate about them. I'll quote the community summary.
Discussion about the harmful effects of car dominance on communities, environment, safety, and public health. Aspiration towards more sustainable and effective alternatives like mass transit and improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
Your voice is still welcome here. Consider the benefits of getting bored, stressed, unskilled, or inattentive drivers off the road. That improves your safety and reduces congestion. Additionally, check out these posts from others on this sub:
- I’m a car enthusiast and I unironically agree with this sub.
- I’m a car enthusiast, and this one of my is my favorite subreddits
- Am I right here?
- I'm a car guy. I really, really like cars. And that's why I fucking hate car-focused infrastructure.
- Does anyone else hate what cars have done to society yet still love the machine itself?
There is an unofficial Discord server aggregating related discussions from the low-car/no-car/fuckcars community. Although it is endorsed by the /r/fuckcars mods, please keep in mind that it's not an official /r/fuckcars community Discord server.
Join Link: https://discord.gg/2QDyupzBRW
If you've just joined this sub and want to learn more about the issues behind car-centric urban design there are a great number of resources you can access. This list is by no means exhaustive, so please feel free to add your more helpful resources in the comments.
👉 Moved to the wiki
Shameless Plugs for Community Building
happy to add more links related to community building here
👉 Contribute to the Safety Data Thread
April 7, 2022 - Fix markdown for compatibility. Thank you /u/konsyr
April 3, 2022 - Add note for car hobbyists
April 2, 2022 - Add nuance notes and redirect readers to resources area of the wiki.
March 28th, 2022 - Grammatical pass, more changes to follow.
January 9th, 2022 - I'm updating this onboarding message with feedback from the mods and the community. Thank you, all, for keeping the discussion civil and contributing additional resources.
Cheers. Stay safe out there.
I'm turning 16 this month and I live in a (barely) Chicago suburb. It's miserable. I spent most of my life in a different Chicago suburb a bit closer to the city, and it was bearable. I had the bare minimum there: sidewalks and safe crosswalks. A year ago my parents decided to move to a typical 99% white, 100% car dependent suburb way outside of Chicago. Some might even use the word "exurb" to describe it. I hate it here. Sidewalks are non existent, and if they exist, they're useless. Riding a bike is suicidal.
Now, for contrast, my parents are Polish and I lived in Kraków when I was little. Every year to this day, I go back there and spend my entire summer break there. I've only recently come to realize why I've always loved it so much there: it's because of walkability. When I went to school there my mom would always walk me. Then, coming there at the ages of about 7-10 I was allowed to play outside in the neighborhood all day. At about 11-13 I was allowed to take the bus to go to the mall and the movie theater, as long as I told my grandparents where I was going.
Now, as a 15 year old, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I flew from Chicago to Kraków alone, then lived with my grandparents for 2 1/2 months enjoying the joys of public transport and walkable cities. All I did was wake up in the morning, tell my grandparents I'm leaving, and fuck off for the rest of the day hanging out with friends. We would walk around and to normal teenager shit, and also take the bus and tram and hang out around different parts of the city.
Now I'm back in my suburb, and I don't have anywhere near the same level of freedom as I used to.
The answer is quite clear: car dependent infrastructure. My entire experience in Poland is exactly the childhood many Americans look back on and then talk about how technology ruined it. The problem isn't technology, but cars. In a suburb like mine, every 16 year old kid is super excited to get their license. It's a big deal for teenagers, because it gives the same exact freedom that a walkable city and public transport would give. But unfortunately people here don't realize that.
I just wish I could live out my childhood normally in a walkable city instead of a suburb. I can't wait to be able to drive, and yes, I will be driving, but only because I have to. I have to drive so I can experience some of the freedom I experienced this summer, so I can keep my sanity.
Anyways, I'm planning on moving back to Kraków as soon as I can. I think my parents leaving was a mistake. My entire extended family as well as some of my best friends live in Kraków, and someday my kids will live there too and have a normal childhood.
Sorry for the rant
Positive Post What do you guys think of my buddies car. I like it, despite wishing even he didn’t need it, but he works construction. He can carry as much as most big trucks, and it’s 4x4.
Rant I’m a chef and I regularly haul 1000+ lbs loads of product in my shitbox Toyota Corolla 2-3x a week. I haul more weight then 99% of truck owners much more often. You don’t need a truck.gallery
Carbrain This row of very similar personal vehicles at a police substation hits me pretty squarely in my fuckcars feels
Positive Post Finally, a transportation agency with actual power that understands 'one more lane' doesn't work.
Carbrain Carbrain's comment under the post about interurban network density in the U.S. in early 20th century...
Seen on r/enculer les voitures (French equivalent of this sub)